Engineering Hydraulics, Fluid Mechanics, applied to practical problems.
Techniques Robie Bonilla Uses:
Engineering Hydraulics and Fluid Mechanics analysis and, when suitable and available, laboratory experimental work.
Robie Bonilla's Problem Solving Skills:
Hydraulics and Fluid Mechanics analysis and experimental work
Robie Bonilla's Problem Solving Experience:
Based on the same principle of the mold (see below), I developed a sheath or covering to be applied on already constructed bridge piers and other submerged structures to overcome local scour. I personally designed this device after I retired. Patent applied for.
Development of a mold for creating an especial roughness on new concrete bridge piers to reduce local scour. This phenomenon is a major risk for bridges: in the US there are more than 25,000 bridges in various degrees of local scour risk. This was a personal research issue, under the auspice of the Instituto. The mold was the matter of a patent application, owned by the Instituto.
Development of a special profile to apply to noses of the concrete walls supporting continuous-flow filtrating screens for large seawater pump sumps in coastal power plants. The profile reduced the vorticity in the pump sumps, so also reduced their overall length and, hence, their cost. This invention is being used in 3 thermal power plants and in 1 nuclear power plant in Mexico, with good results. I also developed a new method for assessing the vorticity in a large pump sump using a hydraulic parameter, before modeling the structure. I headed the researchers' team at the Instituto Politécnico Nacional, in Mexico (I am retired now).
Development of a system to reduce the oscillatory movements induced by the waves on floating and semi-floating oil platforms and vessels. Recent personal pursuit. In months, this device will be in patent-applied-for status.
Design of a system to reduce the loss of cold air from a refrigerated space, hence to reduce the energy consumption of refrigeration appliances and installations. I treated this phenomenon as a Fluid Mechanics one. Patent application in the works.